ThedaCare pediatrician provides tips for families | News

A costumed boy and his mother wear protective face masks in the backyard of their home as they celebrate Halloween during the outbreak of the disease.

Aleksandar Nakic

Temperatures have dropped and the sun disappears a little earlier each evening as we move into the fall season. The family tradition of Halloween festivities will soon lead to little goblins, ghosts and witches going door to door for sweets.

“It’s great to see some of the traditional activities returning as different communities in the area have specific times for kids, dressed in their Halloween costumes, to go trick-or-treating,” said Dr. Jorge Darwich, a pediatrician at ThedaCare Physicians Pediatrics. – Neena. “As families participate, it’s important to have a plan for the big night to ensure safety for everyone.”

For starters, trick-or-treat times often start before sunset and continue into the evening after dark.

“It is vital to emphasize pedestrian safety because children may want to run to the next house or to the decorated house across the street,” he said. “Let’s remind them to stay with mom and dad and look both ways before crossing a street.”

Planning and preparing the streets to take while trick-or-treating with kids can be a fun way to get kids more involved in the night and set expectations for everyone.

“The added benefit of planning your route can also help set intentions for your kids,” Darwich said. “They know that once you get to a certain street or it’s a certain time, it’s time to go back home. Also discuss nighttime rules for children so they know what is expected of them.”

Other Halloween safety tricks and tips include:

Remind children to walk, not run.

Hold the hands of an adult and look both ways when crossing the street.

Use bright colors in suits or reflective tape.

Make sure costumes fit properly. Be sure to hem pants or skirts to avoid tripping.

Using Flashlights

Pin a tag with your child’s name and contact information on their costume in case you break up.

Reinforce children that they will not get into a car with someone they do not know or enter a house.

Do not accept homemade treats from strangers.

Parents should check each candy for tears or spills.

Discard anything that looks suspicious.

“It’s usually fine to let your child indulge their sweet tooth once in a while, but you need to make sure they don’t eat too much at once and that the things they eat are safe,” he said. “Make sure you check everything and get rid of anything that might look skeptical.”

Drivers should also be aware of an increase in pedestrian traffic during the month of October when several Halloween festivities are planned. Be sure to slow down in residential areas and watch out for children who may leave the street or parked cars.

If you’re planning on handing out candy, it’s also a good idea to make sure your yard is safe and ready for kids by removing any obstacles from your yard, porch, or stairs to avoid tripping or falling. that your porch is well lit for trick-or-treating hours.

COVID safety guidelines

Another safety measure that has been high on the minds of many parents for nearly two years is COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children ages 12 and older are eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Just over 56% of the total population of the United States is vaccinated. Children under 12 are not currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC has released some guidelines for trick-or-treaters, as well as neighbors who hand out candy. Families should travel in small groups and avoid crowds at the doorstep. Everyone should wash their hands before leaving the house for trick-or-treating and when they go home.

“It helps that Halloween is generally a holiday focused on the outdoors and kids can easily pair a fun mask with their costumes,” Darwich said.

People handing out candy should avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters. If possible, give treats outside and wash your hands before handing out candy. If you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an autoimmune disease, it is recommended that you leave candy in a bowl so that trick-or-treaters can help themselves.

“If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, we ask that you do not participate in the in-person Halloween festivities,” Darwich said. “While we all look forward to returning to traditional celebrations and events, it is still important to continue to take precautions so that we can do our best to stay healthy.”

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